Wastewater treatments are fundamental to keep our water natural resources. Wastewater treatment plants of the XXI century are high complexity systems that not only must fulfil technical requirements but also adapt to an increasing number of environmental and economic constraints. Within this framework, Environmental Decision Support Systems (EDDS) constitute a powerful tool to support the selection and integrated assessment of different wastewater treatment alternatives. An EDSS can be defined as interactive, flexible and adaptable software, which links numerical models/algorithms with knowledge-based techniques, geographical information and environmental ontologies, and that can support environmental decision-makers.
In its doctoral thesis “Development of an environmental decision support system for the selection and integrated assessment of process flow diagrams in wastewater treatment”, Manel Garrido firstly carried out a wide research work on the complexity associated to the conceptual design of wastewater treatment plants (WWTs). This research allowed to define the necessary requirements for the software, as well as to select a methodology for the management and representation of data and acquired knowledge. Finally, the EDSS was validated considering different technical, economic and environmental scenarios and parameters. The results of these validations were published in international journals of the field. Manel Garrido’s work was supervised by Dr. Manel Poch (LEQUIA, Universitat de Girona) and Dr. Luis Larrea (CEIT, Universidad de Navarra), it is part of LEQUIA research line on EDSS, and has been carried out within the framework of the NOVEDAR_Consolider project (www.novedar.com).